This week sees the long awaited return of Tiger Woods and the golfing world waits with anticipation to see how the number one holds up after knee surgery, rehabilitation and eight months out of the game.
As match play is a very intriguing and mental form of the game, I think it's especially important to look at career records in this head to head format. Going through the field of 64, here are some match play records that stood out (as well as guys who are competing in their first match play event):
Davis Love III 18-8
The Not So Good:
The Match Play Virgins:
And now the odds... (just the Top 10)
Personally, I cannot believe that Lefty, Garcia and Kim are three of the top four choices to win this thing. Phil is in form, but I'm still not convinced he has the killer instinct going down the stretch to win six consecutive head to head matches. Sergio as well. That guy can fall to pieces at any time - admittedly less so in recent times, but still wouldn't trust him! Anthony Kim is hot property at the moment, but fourth favourite?? Please... the kid has never played a professional match play event before and is rated a better chance than former winners Stenson and Ogilvy and dual Major winner Harrington. Sure, he might do quite well, but I can't see him going all the way.
Geoffrey Ogilvy represents superb value @ 23.00. He's won two PGA Tour events already this year, is a proven match player and has a (relatively) easy bracket compared to others.
Round 1 - Kevin Sutherland
Round 2 - Immelman/Katayama
Round 3 - Villegas/Pampling/Jiminez/Sabbatini
Round 4 - Tiger
If you can find a market to reach the quarter finals, lump a bit on Geoff. I might even have a crack @ the 8.00 on him to win the Bobby Jones bracket. Tiger is still an unknown quantity at the moment and could even be knocked out before reaching Geoff. And if the two play off in the quarter-final, you can always cover.
As far as longer shots go, I like:
Baddeley @ 41.00 - one of the best putters on tour which is a huge asset in match play
KJ Choi @ 41.00 - somewhat overpriced in my opinion
I'll keep looking and see if anything else jumps out at me. Haven't even looked at first round odds yet.
Does anything stand out to you guys?
Click here to view the bracket